Frequently Asked Questions

There are plenty of "accelerators" out there, why should I apply to Lafayette Plug and Play?
  • Unlike most accelerators, our program is completely free. And, we don't take equity.
  • Unlike most accelerators, we focus on business development, not education. We won't tire you with long conferences about how to find your product/market fit, we're here to introduce you efficiently to corporations and potential new clients. Business business business!
  • Unlike most accelerators, we run a focused program with small batches of 10-15 startups, allowing our team of all star mentors and sponsors to really help foster each company’s success.
  • Unlike most accelerators, we focus on retail tech, our DNA. We understand your business.
  • Unlike most accelerators, we offer investment opportunities, should you be interested in fundraising.
  • Unlike most accelerators, we have ten years of experience and a global community of 6,000+ accelerated startups from all over the world.
  • Unlike most accelerators, you can extend your stay at Lafayette Plug and Play after the end of the acceleration or join Plug and Play's HQ in Silicon Valley for another 3-month program. Or any other Plug and Play program (19 international locations)!
What are the different stages of the program?

The program has five stages:

  1. Apply online
  2. Pitch at Selection Day
  3. Grow your business during 3 months at Lafayette Plug and Play in Paris
  4. Graduate at Demo Day
  5. Option to stay for three additional months in Paris, or join Plug and Play HQ in Silicon Valley or any other Plug and Play program (19 locations) at no additional cost (except for living/travel expenses).
How long does the acceleration program last?

The program lasts three months and takes place in Paris.

What areas does Lafayette Plug and Play focus on?

Anything that can help retailers and brands. The areas we focus on include: Predictive Analytics, Supply-Chain Management, Customer Experience, Omnichannel, Marketing Technologies, Logistics, Security, Payment.

We don't accelerate brands or marketplaces. We are looking for (mostly B2B) tech products and services.

What is offered during the program?

Coworking space (1000m2) open 24/7 with meeting rooms and a fully furnished kitchen, food, a conference room, a fast 100Mb fiber internet connection, a private VLAN and a wired and wireless connection, mentorship from top investors/executives/entrepreneurs, private corporate meetings, pitch polishing sessions, VC and business angel interviews, access to international events, as well as several perks such as cloud credits and legal services.

Will Lafayette Plug and Play invest in my startup?

Not necessarily. If your startup is looking for funds Lafayette Plug and Play can help with small investment tickets that amount between €25,000 and €200,000 (same terms as any other Plug and Play program). This can help you convince bigger investors such as venture capitalists. We use a BSA Air document that greatly simplifies the legal setup (similar to a SAFE). There is no obligation for you to accept our terms, and Lafayette Plug and Play does not invest in every startup of the program.

Is my company mature enough / too mature to apply to Lafayette Plug and Play?

There is a fit as long as you have a product to sell to Carrefour or Galeries Lafayette or Nestlé. We are targeting companies which have moved beyond conceptualization and developed viable products or MVPs. We have accepted "startups" that had raised $10M+ and had more than 50 employees.

How does the application process work?

The application process starts online, with an application form where you can tell us about your team, your product, and the market you are in. The questions are geared to understand both the business and the team. We might contact you to get more information. Then, shortlisted candidates will be invited to pitch on stage in Paris in front of our jury (Selection Day).

How do you choose the companies that are accepted into the program?

Team - Traction - Technology! Our jury is composed of corporate partners and investors: they will simply select the startups they want to work with during at least three months.

What information do I need to provide in my application?

We ask for information about you, your idea, your team and you company. Don’t hold back, let us know how great you are!

When will I hear back regarding my application?

We notify applicants one month before the program begins. So have your go bag ready.

Is there anything  I can do to improve my chances of acceptance?

No. The application process is there to keep the playing field level and fair.

Is there a possibility to meet the team ?

We will meet with every applicant who clears our first screen.

My startup is not based in France, can I still apply?

Of course! As long as you and your team can be in France legally for at least three months. 50% of applicants are not from France.

Do I have to speak French to apply?

Non! The program is entirely in English, and all our speakers have international profiles.

Is my age a factor in your selection process?

Not at all, as long as you are at least 18 years old.

I’m a single founder. Can I get selected for Lafayette Plug and Play?

We accept single founders into our program, but a strong team is clearly a better signal for obvious reasons.

My team outsources software development. Are we still qualified to apply?

Yes. We think it’s best not to outsource your tech, but it obviously works in some cases. We’re happy to consider your application.

I’m concerned that if I apply, you won’t protect my intellectual property. Should I worry about this?

Our application does not ask for your “secret sauce” and there is no reason you have to disclose this to us if you’re not comfortable doing so. We don't sign NDAs for practical reasons.

Do I need to be in the Lafayette Plug and Play space during the program?

You don't need to be in the accelerator 24/7, however we expect you to work from here whenever you don't have a meeting elsewhere. Our best startups are clearly the ones that have always some people in the building: they are the ones who meet every executive, entrepreneur and investor, so they are the ones who get most deals!

Where is the Lafayette Plug and Play accelerator?

Right in the middle of the 10th Arrondissement, in a brand new 1000m2 space, located on 32 Rue de Paradis. 8min walk to Gare du Nord (UK, Belgium, Germany, Northern Europe) and Gare de l'Est (Switzerland, Eastern Europe).

Does Lafayette Plug and Play Program guarantee a pilot with Galeries Lafayette or any other corporate partner in the program?

No. It is entirely at our partners discretion as to whether or not enter into any commercial arrangement with a participating company.

Where will I live while in Paris?

We provide coworking space for free but we unfortunately don't have any discount for apartments around the office yet. Our advice is simply to use Airbnb, set notifications on and join relevant facebook groups.

Do we have to stay in Paris when the program ends?

It’s your company, grow your business where you can find the best opportunities!